Author Archive

So You Think You Can Write? Then Enter!

The only thing you have to lose by entering is your doubts

Once upon a time, on a couch very much like this one (in fact, it was this one), I sat and stared at my keyboard, my mouse hovering over the “submit” button.

I had just uploaded the first chapter of my manuscript to enter it into the 2013 So You Think You Can Write contest and I. Was. Terrified.

What if everyone hated it? What if they threw rotten tomatoes or large rocks at my computer screen? Worse, what if they simply ignored my entry and I never got the feedback I so desperately craved?

I wasn’t sure I would survive.

Nevertheless, I took a deep breath, gulped down some wine, and clicked.

And you know what? It was one of the best things I ever did.

Over the next few weeks, I got to know quite a few wonderful women. We all wanted to win, of course. But we were also enjoying the company of a bunch of other writers who understood exactly what we were going through.

We gnashed our teeth together. Chewed our fingernails down to the quick together. And when the time came, we cheered the finalists on, not begrudging them their success in the least (although we were all still hoping to hear from an intrigued editor).

I was one of the lucky ones. I didn’t final-final (mine got cut at the semi-finals) but I did get an editor interested. And I sold my manuscript (scoring a two-book deal in the process).

But equally importantly, I made lasting friendships.

While at the RWA conference a few weeks ago, I attended the open house for SYTYCW alumni and interested writers. And I got to hug the smiling faces of a whole bunch of women I’d never “met” before, but was already proud to call friend.

Two of those women (Tanya Wright and Jennifer Christie) are now my critique partners, and together, we’re going to take the writing world by storm.

All three of us have advice to give you in this video the Harlequin crew shot.


The next step of our careers is “To Be Decided,” but wherever we go, it’s going to be great.

And it all started with a little thing called the So You Think You Can Write contest.

So if you’re thinking about entering, stop thinking and just do it.

You’ll be glad you did.

I Forgot How Much I Loved This Idea…

So. Day 1 of the full RWA conference is mostly over. And it has been amazeballs. I’ve learned a lot, of course. But more importantly, I was reminded why I do this crazy book-writing stuff I do.

It’s fun … especially when I’m telling myself the stories I want to read.

As I mentioned before, I have two books completely plotted out right now. I am actively writing one of them.

But there was another idea. One I fell wildly in love with. I even wrote a few pages. But then decided it was too risky.

I just re-read the first two pages. And you guys? I still love it.

So what’s it about?

In a nutshell, God makes a bet with the Devil that he can prove humanity is still worth saving. But to win, Jesus has to convince an atheist that she is the final prophet. He isn’t supposed to fall in love. (but I write romance, so we all know where this is going).

I’m going to leave a little bit of it here, just for fun.

The Unlikely Prophet

“I need your help with something.”

Jesus groaned and turned to look at his father. Or at least he tried to. The man was glowing so brightly his eyes started to water.

“Hey Dad, can you turn down the light? You’re blinding me.”

“What? Oh, sorry. Hold on.” He snapped his fingers and the ethereal light vanished. “I was talking to Satan again. You know how he riles me up.”

Jesus motioned to the faded red recliner across from him. “Have a seat and tell me about it.”

His Dad nodded and floated over. After he’d made himself comfortable, he looked across at his son, his blue eyes still blazing with righteous anger. “No matter how often I tell myself not to let him get to me…”

Jesus nodded. “He always does. That’s kind of his job, Dad.”

The big man sighed and smoothed out an invisible crease in his long white robe. “I know. I know. But this time it went too far.”

An alarm bell pinged in Jesus’ head. “What did you do?”

His dad glanced at him and then looked quickly away. “I may have made another bet.”

“You did not.”

“I did.”

Shit. “What kind of bet?”

“That I could prove humankind is still worth saving.”

“You’re kidding me.”

His dad shook his head. “No. No I’m not.”

“And what happens if you lose?”

“I’ve got to end it all and start over.”

Jesus threw his hands up in the air. “Dad! How could you? I thought we agreed that we were nowhere near ready to do that yet?”

“We’re not. I won’t. We can win. But I’m going to need your help.”

Now he knew he was in trouble. “The last time you said that, we ended up with the Mormons.”

His dad grinned. “This time, all we need is a gorgeous woman.”



Ready or not, it’s conference time!

Hi. I'm an introvert. Will you come talk to me so I feel less alone?

In a little more than a week, I leave for my first official romance writing conference. And it’s a big one. Perhaps even the biggest one.

I’m talking, of course, about the Romance Writers of America National Conference.

Writers come from all over the world to attend. The romance writing heavyweights will be out in force—Nora Roberts, Gena Showalter, Jude Deveraux, Marie Force, Jennifer Crusie—the list goes on and on and on.

Plus, editors and agents from every publishing house and agency (both major and minor) interested in romance will be there.

And, Internet? I’m more than a little nervous.

I mean, sure, I’ve been to my share of conferences. As a blogger, I attended BlogHer three years in a row. And that conference, during that time? Was simply amazeballs.

But this is a whole new world. And I’m not entirely sure where I fit.

I am a published author. In fact, I’m a Harlequin author. No, damn it, I’m a multi-published Harlequin author. As such, I have every right to be there.

But I don’t feel like I’ve earned my place yet.

What will it take for me to feel like I belong? I’m not sure.

Another book deal would help, of course. But before I can get that, I have to finish and sell the manuscript I’m currently working on. Which, since the line I wrote for closed, isn’t as easy as it sounds.

But don’t you worry, I will. I will get another book deal. And someday I will make it to the bestseller lists.

I will.

I just have to get over these growing pains first.

So, what’s the point of this post? Basically, it’s just me, psychically bleeding on the Internet. I can’t help it—it’s what I do. What I have done since I wrote my first blog post in 2008.

But it’s also a reminder. Whoever you are, wherever you are in life, remember to do something that scares the shit out of you every once in a while. Something you’re not sure you can pull off. Something you could (if you’ll excuse my French) completely fuck up.

There’s no better way to remind yourself that you’re alive.

And when you come out the other side, completely unscathed? You’ll stand a little taller. Feel a little stronger. And you’ll know that you are capable of absolutely anything.

(And if you see me standing alone and looking awkward at the conference? Please say hi. I’m an excellent conversationalist. I’m just not good at making the first move.)




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